No. 2 Michigan and No. 15 Iowa will face off in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in a game broadcast on FOX.
It will be the first appearance in the Big Ten title game for Michigan, while Iowa made one appearance since there was a conference title game beginning in the 2011 season. Ohio State had dominated the Big Ten Championship, winning five of the last seven.
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Michigan comes into the game with College Football Playoff hopes after beating Ohio State last week. It was the first time Michigan beat its rival since 2011 and the first time Jim Harbaugh has won against the team since he took over as head coach. The win also elevated the Wolverines to the No. 2 spot in the latest College Football Playoff ranking.
Michigan’s only loss came against Michigan State five weeks ago. The Wolverines have scraped by some bad Big Ten teams this season but have another test in Iowa.
The Hawkeyes were once one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten. Iowa was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation before losing to Purdue and Wisconsin in back-to-back weeks. There would be nothing better for Iowa than to spoil Michigan’s hopes of getting into the College Football Playoff.
Iowa made the Big Ten Championship in 2015 and was edged out by Michigan State, 16-13. C.J. Beathard was the quarterback for the Hawkeyes at the time.
MICHIGAN MOVES INTO TOP 4 OF CFP RANKINGS; COACHLESS IRISH 6
Iowa could have a tough time on both sides of the ball when it comes to Michigan.
The Wolverines have clicked on offense as of late. Hassan Haskins has been the key in the running game, scoring five touchdowns against Ohio State. He has 1,232 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns this season. Cade McNamara has been solid in the quarterback role with 2,301 passing yards and 14 touchdown passes. J.J. McCarthy has also gotten looks taking snaps for run-pass option plays.
Cornelius Johnson and Erick All have been the top targets for Michigan since the team lost Ronnie Bell early in the year. Johnson has 36 catches for 587 yards and three touchdowns. All has 32 catches for 331 yards and one touchdown.
Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo have roiled offenses this season. Hutchinson has 13 sacks and 54 total tackles and Ojabo has 11 sacks and 33 total tackles.
Spencer Petras was named the starter for the Big Ten title game for Iowa. He has 1,532 passing yards and nine touchdowns but the offense has run through running back Tyler Goodson.
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Goodson is a legitimate threat for the Michigan defense. He has 1,101 yards and six touchdowns on the ground this season. Sam LaPorta and Keegan Johnson have been the top receivers. LaPorta has 40 catches for 486 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson has 17 catches for 339 yards and two touchdowns.
The Iowa defense has held each opponent to under 30 points this season. Jack Campbell is in the triple digits in tackles with 121 and a sack. Joe Evans and Lukas Van Ness each have six sacks.
Michigan will also be playing with heavy hearts. The school will honored the victims of the Oxford High School shooting with a special patch on their jerseys.
Get ready for a classic Big Ten title matchup.
Here’s what else you should know.
MICHIGAN (11-1) VS. IOWA (10-2)
Date: Dec. 4
Time (ET): 8 p.m.
Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium
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Recent Big Ten Title Winners
2020: Ohio State def. Northwestern, 22-10
2019: Ohio State def. Wisconsin, 34-21
2018: Ohio State def. Northwestern 45-24
2017: Ohio State def. Wisconsin, 27-21
2016: Penn State def. Wisconsin, 38-31